The Asus Eee PC 701 | The Original Netbook
The Asus Eee PC 701 - the computer that brought to us the world of 1 kilo laptops, amazing low prices and the name ‘netbook’.
In The Beginning.
Since the first 4G model appeared during COMPUTEX Taipei 2007, Asus have taken the Eee PC, made it bigger, faster, flashier and more functional – which has pushed the price up. The original Eee PC however remains true to its netbook roots; small, light, simple and cheap.
The Asus Eee PC 701 lacks some features of some of the newer models. It doesn’t have the Intel Atom processor found on most netbooks, since the Atom wasn’t around until 2008. Instead, the humble Intel Celeron M 900MHz ULV processor takes its place – designed with long battery life in mind, hence the ULV; Ultra low-voltage.
The battery itself, will pump out 3 and a half hours of battery life, slightly less for the cheaper surf models. Storage corresponds to the version of the model; in the case of the bestseller, 4G for 4GB of Solid state drive. 512MB of memory is also built in.
The screen, only 7 inches across has a measly 800x480 screen resolution which will leave you scrolling sideways most of the time whilst browsing. By comparison, later 9 inch and 10 inch mini laptops have a 1024x600 resolution, which is more or less standard. The screen itself is engulfed by the speakers which lie on both sides, with a microphone and a 0.3 mega pixel camera above it.
The keyboard is 83% of the size of a full size keyboard and is usable, although it takes some practice to refine the skills needed for fluent typing in such a small space.
Unlike some netbooks (the Dell Mini 9 comes to mind) all the keys from a full size model are included.
The 701 is a petite 22.5x16.5x3.5 cm, although the thickness does drop down to 2.5cm around the edges. The size puts it in line with your usual hardback book, with a weight to match – a trim 0.92 kilos. It’s about the size of half an A4 sheet of paper folded up. It is so far the smallest and lightest netbook.
Regardless, the specs are no match for the newer models and thanks to removal of the speakers from the side of the screen, the newer 9 inch models aren’t that much bigger.
Simplicity remains standard across the Eee PC range, with a choice of Linux and XP operating systems. However, along with bigger screens and more practical keyboards the overall weight and price has steadily increased – so whilst the newer netbooks may be more powerful, the simplest, cheapest and lightest remains the original netbook – the Asus Eee PC 701.
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